John Wales on Tertullian’s adaptation of the Phrygian movement Montanism

John S. Whale, “The Heretics of the Church and Recurring Heresies: Montanus,” Expository Times 45 (1934): 498. Accessed 11/5/2014 online.

The rigorist Montanism of Tertullian in Carthage with its protest against the frivola et frigida fides of the Church, presents so many contrasts to the original and authentic Phrygian movement as to be a different phenomenon, falling outside the scope of this article. Tertullian adapted what he bad adopted. The very term ‘Montanism’ is late and misleading, suggesting a homogeneity which the movement never had. In its Western phase Montanism evolves into something else, a fact which Tertullian, with all the inconsistency of the unscrupulous barrister, conveniently ignores. Only in a strictly limited sense may he be called, den bedeutendsten theologischen Repräsentanten des Montanismus’ (Hilgenfeld: quoted by Labriolle), and it is not without significance that the Montanists of Carthage were known in the end as Tertullianists!

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